Brother William Leo Schu, C.S.C., age 93, died on March 15, 2019 at the Quinn Memory Care Center at Dujarie House at Holy Cross Village in Notre Dame, Indiana. He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on October 17, 1925, the son of Clarence and Estelle (Engbers) Schu. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School in Evansville, Indiana, and graduated from Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville in 1943. He was influenced by the Holy Cross Brothers in high school and entered Sacred Heart Juniorate in Watertown, Wisconsin, a few weeks after graduation. Eight months later he began his religious training at St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, in February 1944 and pronounced his first vows as a Holy Cross Brother on April 18, 1945.
He began his college studies at the University of Notre Dame and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1948. He later earned a Master of Arts degree at Notre Dame in 1953. Brother William (who was once known by his religious name Brother Florentius) began his teaching career at Monsignor Coyle High School in Taunton, Massachusetts, for 2 years and then taught for 2 years at Catholic Central High School in Monroe, Michigan. In 1953 he joined the faculty at St. Edward High School where he was to teach and administer for the next 32 years.
His senior religion course on marriage and the family was very popular among his students. He served as assistant principal at St. Edward High School for 11 years and was principal of the summer school sessions for 14 years.
In 1985 he spent a sabbatical year at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, and then moved to Harriman, Tennessee, as a member of the Holy Cross Mountain Community to assist Brother Gonzaga Day in the Seton Thrift Shop for the poor and needy.
In 1990 he went to Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, to spend a period of creative retirement in favorite hobbies and other pursuits. In 2001, he volunteered to assist Brother William Geenen at the Senior Friendship Centers in Sarasota, Florida, and devoted the next 9 years in generously helping the elderly in the area.
In 2010, Brother William moved to Columba Hall at Notre Dame to retire and also volunteer his time and talent to help at the Saint Vincent DePaul Store in South Bend. He commented: “God has blessed me throughout my life with a truly wonderful home and family. I am most thankful for a long, beautiful and happy life being so fortunate to spend more than sixty years as a Brother of Holy Cross.”
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 20th, at Our Lady of Holy Cross Chapel from 9:30 to 11:00 am on the grounds of Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame. The Mass of Resurrection will then follow with interment afterward in St. Joseph’s Cemetery at the Village. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Memorial contributions, in honor of Brother William Schu, C.S.C., to support the mission and ministries of the Brothers may be sent to: Brothers of Holy Cross, Office of Development, P.O. Box 460, Notre Dame, IN 46556.